Beyond the Blog: What Types of Web Copy Should You Write?
Many people incorrectly refer to all freelance writers as bloggers.
This is a common mistake, and it is observed in other areas of life as well. It is kind of like how some people refer to all adhesive medical strips as “Band-Aids.” They are referring to the most popular player out of a pool of many choices.
For those of us who write for a living, delving into the other types of writing can be a wise idea. Don’t get me wrong — there are people out there who will pay ample money for blog posts if the quality is good enough. But as a writer, you should never limit yourself.
What other types of web copy exist outside of blogging? In short, tons. Once you dive deep enough, you will find opportunities to cover current events, help new websites get going, and more. By expanding your horizons beyond the blog and into different types of web copy, you can grow your portfolio and pad your pockets as well.
News Articles: A Hot Commodity Across Industries
Even before the internet (back when web copy was just copy), breaking news has always been an easy source of great content. Though some people prefer to spend their time online browsing memes and taking quizzes to determine what flavor of smoothie they are, most people will take interest in articles about breaking news that affects them.
Even if you are not covering the actions of world leaders and detailing the slow collapse of our primary systems of governance, there are countless other interesting topics to write about. People have a variety of interests and hobbies — when news breaks in these areas, they want to know about it. From business to sports to science to entertainment, the possibilities are nearly endless.
The etiquette for writing news articles is simple: report the facts, keep opinions to a minimum, and always cite sources.
Be forewarned though, of all the types of web copy out there, news articles are some of the most time-sensitive. When a good story breaks, you have to get on it quickly!
Web Content: New Websites Need Copy
With so many site-building tools and domain/hosting packages out there, building a website has never been easier. But while technology has made it possible to have a site without a coder, writers are still a vital part of the equation.
New websites need all kinds of content — landing pages, about us pages, contact pages, and more. Writing web content means understanding a company’s brand image, their goal, their history, and the message they would like to deliver to their users and customers.
Clients who want these types of web copy are understandably picky. However, if you can get them what they need, they may just view you as a go-to resource the next time they launch a new page and need copy for it. This means it is easy to turn a one-time client into a regular.
Product Descriptions: Vital for Marketing
Online shopping has become so popular that it is putting pressure on historically-dominant retailers of the brick-and-mortar variety. Though more people prefer to shop online, a good pitch is sometimes still necessary to convince them to buy.
Product descriptions can take many forms. In some cases, the client may want a formal piece of copy that lists the technical specs of the good or service they are offering. In other cases, they may want to approach the reader from a more casual perspective and build rapport with them.
In any case, a product description should always be focused on how a product can help the reader solve a problem. If you have a mind for marketing, this is one of those types of web copy that can be a consistent source of income once you find the right clients.
White Papers: Articulating Complexities with Clarity
White papers are a bit more on the technical side of things, making them a type of copy that many writers tend to avoid. However, the demand for white papers coupled with the lack of willing writers to write them means the job can offer lucrative pay for those willing to step up.
White papers are authoritative guides on topics that detail a problem, present information regarding the subject, and offer prospective solutions. While some types of web copy can be improvised partially if you don’t have all the technical knowledge, white papers require you to have in-depth knowledge of a subject.
If you are someone who has expertise in a certain area, you may be able to translate that into a successful writing career with white papers. They are very common in government agencies, as well as companies that deal with business-to-business marketing.
Job Postings: Bringing in New Hires
For most companies, staffing is one of their more basic and vital types of investments. On-boarding qualified talent is key to any organization’s success, and this means they need someone to write good job postings.
Even if hiring managers know all the qualifications and perks of an open position by heart, translating this into aesthetically and phonetically pleasing copy is not always easy. This is where you come in — if you have a knack for turning long lists into appealing snippets that convince the reader to take action, you could have a future in writing job postings.
Like white papers, details are everything when you are trying to help facilitate professional relationships. Make sure you only list the information the company gives you, and think like a job-seeker when you construct the post.
Organizational Copy: Emails, Press Releases, and More
Beyond the common types of writing like blogs, news articles, and product descriptions, companies have a lot of instances where they need creative minds. Things like emails or memos are sent out every day by businesses. Many of them prefer to have a dedicated writer on the staff to handle such things.
Handling organizational copy is about knowing the company’s rules, their direction, and the format they prefer when communicating. Every organization is different, so it is a learning experience every time. However, the rule for organizational copy is usually to keep things formal, professional, and in line with the company’s guides for inter-organizational communication.
Remember, the terms “writer” and “blogger” are not synonymous — while blogs are a great type of web copy for professional writers to focus on, there are plenty of other opportunities out there. Broadening your horizons means you can go from being that person who “blogs” for a living to that person who “writes” for a living — and that is a big difference!
Ready to expand your horizons and start writing different types of web copy? Sign up to become a Job Hunter PRO to find and apply for the best remote freelance writing jobs on the web.